Broughty Castle (c) David Dixon
Broughty Castle

Broughty Castle stands on the north bank of the River Tay, just east of modern Dundee. The castle was built in 1495 on a site that was first fortified about 40 years before. The castle builder was Andrew, 2nd Lord Grey. At the core of the castle is an imposing four-storey tower house which was augmented by low outbuildings within encircling curtain walls.


Broughty Castle was besieged by English troops in 1547 and surrendered, only to be retaken by a force of Scots and French soldiers three years later. The castle fell once more in 1651 when General Monck led a force of Parliamentary troops against the garrison, who promptly turned tail and fled.

The Grey family eventually sold the castle in 1666, and it lapsed into a state of decay. It was used as a base by the Edinburgh and Northern Railway Company and finally purchased by the crown to use as a defence against a threatened Russian invasion.  The War Office rebuilt and strengthened the castle site, and added gun emplacements. The castle was used sporadically by the military until after World War II.

It was finally taken over by the Dundee city council, who now operate it as a museum, focussing on the military function of the site and its colourful past. Visit the museum website for more information.

Though the museum is run by the council, the castle itself is under the care of Historic Scotland. The castle site is close to the beach and the Esplanade and offers excellent views across the Tay and Monifieth Bay, which is popular with birdwatchers.